Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Opponents of Proposal 2...
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Opponents of Proposal 2 clone around the facts

Robert Downes - October 20th, 2008
Here are some questions for Joe Plumber:
Are you afraid that giant biomedical corporations will start pumping out human clones if Proposal 2 passes in Michigan this November?
Or, are you more afraid that you (or a member of your family) will someday come down with MS, diabetes, Lou Gehrig‘s disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Krohn’s disease, blindness, cancer, heart disease, damaged organs, stroke and a host of other afflictions?
You know, things that may be cured someday by the stem cell research encouraged by Proposal 2.
Embryonic stem cell research is one of the greatest discoveries of our time. It has the potential to cure our most devastating illnesses. It’s possible that it will someday help quadriplegics rise from their beds, and make diseased hearts strong.
But the ethical considerations make some people squeamish.
Here‘s the background: When a couple is unable to have a baby, they go to an infertility clinic and have their eggs and sperm combined in vitro. The fertilized eggs (embryos) are implanted in the woman’s womb. But generally, not all of the eggs are saved, so the leftover embryos are destroyed.
Some couples, however, donate these embryos for research. It’s from these discarded embryos that stem cells are obtained for study.
Embryotic stem cells are ideal for study because they have the ability to divide into the many different cell types found in our bodies. Thus, a researcher can use them to study cures for things like kidney disease, or repairing damaged spinal cords.
In Michigan, Proposal 2 would amend the state constitution to allow the following:

“To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically. Any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of federal law...”

That’s it: Proposal 2 would simply allow couples to donate their unused embryos for medical research. And it would allow the new $10.5 million stem cell research center at the University of Michigan to conduct the same studies that are currently allowed by the federal government. It‘s the same research that is conducted in virtually every state in the country, other than backwaters such as South Dakota, Louisiana... and Michigan.
And get this, Joe -- the proposed amendment states at the very top:

“Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.”

That’s it: no human cloning, or any possibility of cloning under our state‘s constitution.
Yet, if you’ve watched the commercials opposing Proposal 2, you’d think that human cloning is right around the corner if the amendment is approved.
This campaign of disinformation by the Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation is a flat-out lie -- as was their claim that stem cell research will raise your taxes. Disinformation of this sort is being used to hold back researchers from curing some of the cruelest diseases on the planet.
And on that score, Michigan ranks as one of the most backward states in the nation. Currently, couples or researchers who violate an antiquated law on embryotic donations and study can face a $10 million fine and 10 years in prison.
But let’s say that Proposal 2 fails in Michigan. Will that stop stem cell research?
Of course not. The research will carry on in scores of other states and countries. Meanwhile, Michigan will lose an estimated 800 biotech jobs that would result from passing Proposal 2, not to mention the honors (and profits) that could arise from any medical breakthroughs.
Do you oppose Proposal 2? Then will you someday look into the eyes or your dying child, parent or spouse and refuse the medicine that comes from stem cell research?
Ironically, the study of stem cells has revealed new and better avenues of research. One scientist claims that, someday, the use of embryos may be simply a medical footnote.
Just last week, for instance, there was news that the stem cells from a man’s testicles may provide a better avenue for study than that of embryos.
One can only imagine that Joe Plumber has got his legs crossed at the thought of it...
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